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Hot new football guides
hit Vegas bookshelves

Aug 3, 2004 5:54 AM

Football season is right around the corner and fans and bettors alike are stocking up on a variety of preview magazines, yearbooks and handicapping guides.

Chris Dortch’s Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook (384 pages, $21.95) has arrived at Gambler’s Book Shop along with Jim Feist’s Football Workbook (305 pages,$39.95) and the National Football League Record and Fact Book (766 pages, $16.95). Each fills a need for football bettors and here’s the way each shapes up in regard to information:

In the football version of the Blue Ribbon Yearbook (the college edition has been a best-seller for two decades), Dortch and more than two dozen writers and researchers examine 11 major college conferences and Independents, with forecasts, analysis, predictions.

Team analyses include an examination of coaches’ reactions and expectations for the upcoming season, giving the researcher a feel for whether a team is rebounding or rebuilding or has finally put its act together for a surprise move in conference play or toward national rankings.

If any resource can help you find some early season "sleepers" this is it.

Jim Feist’s Football Workbook provides 10 years of results for both college and pro teams. There’s a schedule and room to keep results for every regular season game, with indication of the type of surface each game will be played on and if the game is a conference battle (colleges) or if the game is within that team’s division (NFL). For both colleges and pros, you can isolate if the 2004 opponent has met the home team any time since 1994. For example, the New York Giants face the Cleveland Browns Sept. 26. The last time they met was in 2000 when the Giants won 24-3, covering a 10-point spread with the total being 33, so the game went under.

You can refer to a handy chart for both colleges and pros which shows how teams did for one season, three seasons or even 10 seasons against the spread on grass or turf or as a dog or favorite or home or away against pointspreads varying from three points to more than 10 points.

This is a nice time-saving book for quick reference and for anticipating spot plays like coming off consecutive road games or "sandwich" situations.

The NFL Record and Fact Book has been a trivia buff’s favorite as well as a great reference for bettors, sportscasters, sports talk show hosts and bartenders who must settle arguments.

It is packed with individual and team records; a review of every game played in 2003 with quarter scores and scoring summaries; a listing of every NFL game ever played since the 1920s (no point spreads are listed); good stuff for potential fantasy league players (Ever wonder what Jerry Rice’s career receiving record is against every opponent and who he scored against most?); greatest comebacks in NFL history; all the overtime games; stadium diagrams (including which way the stadium is geographically configured; the tie-breaking procedure.

The book has preseason results, post-season results and records (including the Super Bowl), and a listing for each team’s web sites on the Internet. It makes a great gift.

Books are available at Gambler’s Book Shop in Las Vegas. Call (800) 522-1777 for ordering information or check out their web site at gamblersbook.com.